Sunday, August 3, 2014

reclaimed doug fir shelving part vi: desk assy and final install

12' x 9' shelving unit fully installed, with LED trim lighting and attached desk now ready to be enjoyed.

I left off with the joining/shaping of the desk legs. I chose to join the trapezoidal leg/stretcher shapes beforehand, and then beaver out waste with the band saw, draw-knife, spoke-shave, saw-rasp, and then manual sanding in that order. The joint between the legs and the stretcher is draw-bored. due to the shaping, a sizeable "shoulder" around the mortice is present. I could have doubled the time by doing all the shaping beforehand, but for this piece, i'm just experimenting with the overall shape and flow of the legs, and so I took this short cut.

I used a fabric cutting mat to help get close leg length dimensions. This desk surface is going to be on level with the step-back shelf on the wall.

Final shaping/sanding of the joint. Very laborious and in the end, I still left more than a few ugly sanding marks that showed up after applying the Danish Oil.

My very patient and awesome wife, sarah and shop-cat Paulo, frollicking in the shavings from the work.

here the desk surfaces and legs stand after some initial Danish Oil. I noticed the quart I got recently was very thick. It was unpleasant to wipe off to the point of being gummy. seems like they changed their formula.

but then the other day i found a pint at the store and sloshed it around, and it sounded like it was thinner. well sure enough, it was thinner, and behaved like the watco i remember earlier. Maybe the pint was from an older batch. I wonder, does anyone know what I could use to thin the viscous stuff if this is how they intend to make it? Or should I go for denatured alcohol and shellack?

Here is the larger section of desk installed. One outboard leg and tabs screwed/glued into the underside of the shelf setback. The other little desk is in the corner to the left of the reference frame here.

I tested the strength of these tabs holding power on my bench first

here's the corner desk that sarah asked for. it's just laptop computer size

Thanks for looking this over! Now onto a trundle bed for this room. I need to get it done before winter so that we have a decent snuggling perch for watching TV shows about the end of the world.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

don't know about you all, but i've been loving the spoke-shave posts that Paul Sellers has been uploading recently!

The spokeshave is my favorite wood working tool.

It's part sculpting, part carving, part planing. Using it, I dance with the wood. Of course the wood always leads but for me the spokeshave lends the best feedback sensing how grain flows, and reverses direction. All of his posts are worth reading, and I'm linking them here to assist their findability.

Thank you Mr. Sellers for uploading them!

I'll be going heavily into spokeshaves while shaping the desk table supports for our library. Here they stand, rough alignment and jointing work in progress for the weekend. Suerte!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

reclaimed doug fir shelving part v: LED/trim install

I proceeded with the LED tape install for the shelving once the vertical trim pieces were scribed into place. The tape is a convenient system that I bought off of Lee Valley. There's a dimmer as well, which emits a subtle buzz under lower outputs. I plan on housing the switch body in a wooden enclosure to minimize this, though.

The bust pictured needs a whole other post (blog...website...existential realm). This will be where the piece cools its heels in the red room. The tape lighting actually lights it well, and it's hard to get a good shot of the entire wall with my diminutive camera.

The lower left side section remains unlit as this will be where the desk is arranged.

Here's the switch: power from teh AC/DC converter in, to the circuit out. I'll house this in something

It took me a long time to figure out the wiring, but the easiest solution appeared to be running a line underneath the drawers for the lower lighting unit, then sending the "main" line up along the back of one of the uprights, where I could do all the connections from above. The tape is placed on overlapping bevels of the trim. It's nice and warm.

Here you can see the wiring placed along the space between the ceiling and the shelving carcass top. I used thumb tacks with electrician's tape to support the tape along the horizontal spans until the top molding was installed.

the connectors you get with this kit are about 5" end to end, which wasn't quite enough to make it through the gap between the ceiling circuit and the trim connection points. So I busted out some 18 gauge twisted wire from my motorcycle wiring days to lengthen them...yep.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

reclaimed doug fir shelving part iv: capstone installed

the shelving hung over the door uses a couple points of bearing: the 3/16" dados for the lower tier, the overlapping tabs of the upper tier, a few screws in the aft tab affixed to the upper tier mounting tab, and then a middle "septum" with wedged thru-mortises to hold the two tiers together.

I made some reference edges using some strips of mdf hot-glued to a few cast-off pieces in the shop, gluing each in situ after detaching the hand clamp here

I used a similar marking/layout strategy for the upper deck, and applied a few tabs to the side that cannot be seen between the ceiling and the wood so that it lays in place.

the next trick was to do a middle septum here, using thru-tennons with wedges to hold the two decks together. While everything was in place here, I found the center along the top, and then projected that location down to the lower tier using my japanese square. This point would act as the index mark for laying out the joinery.

I assembled the piece with wedged through-tennons and applied some temporary battens to stabilize the piece during installation. here's what she looked like at 3:00pm today. I wrote a message on the top side of the upper tier, the date, and an expression of hope that this ridiculous composition would actually slide into it's housing without complaints.

a big ask, you know.

it was awkward humping the assembly up on a ladder into the position, but it tapped into place with minimal application of surly metaphors.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

reclaimed doug fir shelving part III: let us bolt the carcass to the walls

No action photos of hauling these things into the house, but my good mate Chad and his daughter Clara Lin showed up this morning for a bit of tom-foolery getting these assemblies into the room. Chad took one end, me the other, and Clara (who is 7) helped call out obstacles in the way ("step! watch the branches! Watch the door!") she was awesome as I was backing in and you know, we didn't bump a single corner with these 106" long carcasses.

afterward, we stole away for some of of the best Mexican food in the East Bay and fixed up to a few burritos and quesadillas in the back yard. Then Chad and Clara left for her swim lessons.

I began the final attachment of the shelves to the walls along the top. It began with scribing the middle shelf tier into the walls using blue tape and a striking knife to get the lines defined. worked OK. The walls are not plumb and fall away from the shelves, but that will be where trim molding details will help. more on that later.

I fabbed up some tabs which would join the top of the shelf to the doubletop plate of the room. There's just about an inch of gap anticipated between the ceiling, and the installed shelving carcasses on the leveling frames. This allows a drill with a 12" extension barely enough space to drive in the screws attaching the thing to the wall. Manual testing felt sturdy. time will tell!

Due to the uneven geometry of the walls, I scribed the shelving into the wall and got it all positioned as I wanted before taking a few measurements for the tab thickness, which was surely to be some odd taper that only marking the thicknesses out insitu would reveal.

I left a little note for me to forget about in the floor leveling frame. I hope it makes someone smile some day

things came out pretty level, so this has been a better-than-expected day!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

reclaimed doug fir shelving part II: glueup, sawtooth shelving, drawers, LED lighting flashtest

woodworking is definitely work. Once all prereqs were met, i had no choice but to glue the carcasses together. Clamp extension "cleats" were on order as I had nothing that would reach across the 57" wide section. they seemed to come out square enough, though.

The middle upright slides into the left side carcass with two housed dados on the ends and a housed bridle joint in the middle. But this goes in *after* the glueup, so I used a long straight-ish stick to make sure all these pieces were in alignment. Even though the diagonal measured pretty close, it took a little "english" to get things lined up in the middle.

It was a fairly intense morning.

closeup of the wedged thru-tenons of the middle tier. these should really help solidify things i hope.

the shelves were high enough to clamp to the trestle of my garage so that they didn't tip over, and I could continue with more detailed work

sawtooth shelving brackets were on order

made an army of little shelf support sticks

The shelves were edge banded vg fir ply. I really made a mess of some of the veneer until I learned to control my scraper plane. The edge banding grain was squirrelly, despite being fir, so i didn't use my block plane.

Practice getting the LED tap lighting orientation correct. It will be on the inside face of the trim molding that will be on the vertical members of the shelf. Big expectations about this working out, more later.

I doubt I'll ever do a curved drawer front like this again, but i did it this way because I had miscalculated the overhang required by the lower vertical trim molding and where it would interface with the drawer slides. So instead of an abrupt "L" cut into the molding, I chose a curve edge, meeting a flat spot like so. What a bitch to fit, however. Probably a pattern router could make quick work of this but I was using paper/mdf templates and hand tools.

i'm posting this photo for my reference, mostly. but the way I fit the trim to the drawer fronts was to slide some MDF under the drawer front, clamp it in place, and then cut the curve of the reveal with a knife. I then transferred this to the moulding sticks to get close.

The gap is not great but these drawer fronts took all of last weekend.

My dad flew down to CA to spend time in LA with my sis and then up to Oakland to hang out with sarah and me. He helped me get everything in a supine position for final finishing before dragging into the house for install. he had a very important contribution to the design which I hadn't thought through: how to get the over door shelving installed. It takes a guy who's put satellites into orbit (literally) to figure out how to tie the bow and put a capstone on this shooting match. more on that later.

jeeze, i hope they fit into the house!